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Drought, Food Security, Migration and Climate: Implications for Policy and Conflict

Stockholm, Sweden, 26 August 2016 – Given the multi-faceted nature and interconnectedness of drought, food security, conflict and migration, the UNCCD is co-hosting a panel event focusing on the need for integrated approaches and the institutional coherence in order to identify solutions, minimize cross-sectoral trade-offs and harness synergies. The panel event will take place at 11:00 am to 12:30 pm on 1 September 2016, at the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. Climate induced hazards such as droughts, heat waves, floods and typhoons have clear negative impacts on food security, conflicts and migration. The influx of migrants witnessed in countries such Israel and Jordan, with already highly stressed water resources, can elevate migration as a security issue.  Robert Mcleman, Wilfrid Laurier University, will deliver the keynote address titled, “Climate change, droughts, and migration: Adaptation or conflicts, which will we choose?" The panelists are Ousman Sowe, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Water and Wildlife, the Gambia, Rikke Olivera, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Martina Climesova, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and Daniel Tsegai, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Michael Brüntrup, German Development Institute (DIE) will moderate the event.  Drought and water scarcity are considered a contributing factor to the civil unrest and subsequent migration in Syria. Unfortunately, countries continue to manage drought and water scarcity as a ‘crisis’ and react only after the event has taken its tall with often poorly coordinated emergency relief measures. A silo approach is still the norm.  The event will highlight the interconnectedness of drought, food insecurity, conflict and migration. The role of empowering the vulnerable rural population, relevance of coherent and coordinated proactive policy approach will be discussed. For more information, contact: dtsegai@unccd.int For interview with UNCCD staff, contact: wwischnewski@unccd.int

Drought, Food Security, Migration and Climate: Implications for Policy and Conflict
Regional training course on combating desertification

Konya-Mersin, Turkey, ​23 August 2016 – Each year Turkey’s General Directorate of Combating Desertification and Erosion organizes an International Training Course on Combating Desertification. This year, the training will take place from 23-27 August in Konya-Mersin for experts from Central Asia and the Balkans. The training is supported by Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA). The training course covers technical issues such as causes of desertification/land degradation, seed and seedling production, forestation, erosion control and participatory approach with the aim of increasing the level of regional collaboration among the countries of the region and enabling each country in the region to share the technical experience. The training course is open for two representatives of the countries (see below for eligible countries). The course has been developed for decision makers, forest engineers and NGO’s involved in the management of environmental problems related to desertification, land degradation, afforestation, erosion control and forestry. The deadline for application is 15 July 2016. For more information and application, download the attached documents. Information noteEligible countriesApplication form For more information of the training course, contact: Mr. Sebahattin ACIKGOZ (sacikgoz@ormansu.gov.tr) or Ms. Eda AKDEMİR (eakdemir@ormansu.gov.tr) At the last UNCCD Conference of the Parties (COP12), the Ankara Initiative was launched to strengthen implementations of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) for the period from 2016 to 2019. The Initiative supports the global sustainable development agenda and leverage the lessons learned from Turkey’s past experience and approaches to land management. The training course is part of the Ankara Initiative actions.

Regional training course on combating desertification
Africa Drought Conference concluded with Windhoek Declaration

Windhoek, Namibia, 19 August, 2016 – African Drought Conference hosted by the government of Namibia ended with adaption of “The Windhoek Declaration for Enhancing Resilience to Drought in Africa” on 19 August. The declaration states the commitments to implement the Strategic Framework for Drought Risk Management and Enhancing Resilience in Africa; to establish a continent-wide African Network with national institutions for Drought Monitoring and Early Warning Systems; and to convene biennial African Drought Conference to be held concurrently with the African Drylands Week to consider progress of the implementation of the Strategy adopted in Windhoek in August 2016, in order to promote investment among others. The conference was one of the distinct outcomes of the Namib Declaration adopted at the UNCCD COP 11/Decision 36 which emphasized a stronger UNCCD for land degradation neutrality with increasing focus on mitigating the impacts of droughts and the development of national drought policies.  The UNCCD was a co-organizer of the conference and provided technical and financial support. Read the Windhoek Declaration​ Read the op-ed by the UNCCD Executive Secretary (Inter Press Service)  The Op-ed in Spanish Other news coverage by Inter-Press Service: Arable Lands Lost at Unprecedented Rate: 33,000 Hectares… a Day! in  Portuguese, Kiswahili The conference opening​

Africa Drought Conference concluded with Windhoek Declaration
Africa Drought Conference kicks off

Windhoek, Namibia, 15 August 2016 – Some 400 delegates from across Africa and beyond have come together in Windhoek, Namibia for the first African Drought Conference. International and African leaders and experts are set to find solutions to the recurring drought events and their associated impacts. The principal objective of the conference is for African countries to come up with an overarching strategic framework for Africa that will enhance drought resilience  and promote a paradigm shift from ‘reactive’ to ‘proactive’ drought management.  The conference is organized by the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism supported by UNCCD in partnership with a number of international organizations and countries.  The conference which is taking place from August 15 – 19 is split between technical segment (15 – 17 August) and a high level segment (18-19 August). The African Drought Conference was launched under the chairmanship of Minister Pohamba and with the presence of Namibian deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of international cooperation, the minister of Agriculture, the AUC commissioner for rural economy and agriculture, the UN resident coordinator and other officials. Many African countries, IO, CSOs, etc. Mr. Daniel Tsegai is delivering a speech on behalf of UNCCD Secretariat.​

Africa Drought Conference kicks off
Africa Drylands Week starts

Windhoek, Namibia, 8 August 2016 – The Third Africa Drylands Week started today in Windhoek, Namibia. The opening ceremony was chaired by H.E. Mr. Pohamba Shifeta, Minister of Environment and Tourism of Namibia. Messages were delivered by the representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Bank, the Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and the UNCCD secretariat. Approximately 50 participates joined the opening ceremony from African countries, regional and sub regional organizations, international and civil society organizations. This year, the Drylands Week addresses the issues including land tenures, migrations, conflicts and Dryland land valuations. FinalDraft Agenda 3rd Africa Drylands Week (EN)Programme Provisoire 3ème Semaine Africaine des Zones Arides (FR) The Drylands Week is held back to back with the AfricanDrought Conference​ organized by the Government of Namibia from 15-19 August in Windhoek.​

Africa Drylands Week starts
Unlocking the Investment Potential of Forest & Landscape Restoration

“Eighty percent of the potential land suitable for forest and landscape restoration (FLR) can be found in drylands”, said Eduardo Rojas, Assistant Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), during the closing session of a two-days expert consultation on Private investments in Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR), co-organized by FAO and the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD on 30 June and 1 July 2015 in Rome, Italy. Rojas also underlined that FLR contributes to the provision of livelihood opportunities for communities in rural areas and the reduction of forced migration. The workshop brought together some 30 international experts from multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental organizations, research institutes and the private sector to identify ways for increasing private sector investments in FLR. Currently, it is estimated that 12 million hectares of land are degraded every year, resulting in a total stock of more than two billion hectares of degraded land that offer opportunities for restoration, and three quarters of this area being suitable for mosaic restoration.  Initiatives around the world aim at up-scaling FLR in order to contribute to global ecosystem restoration goals and promote land degradation neutrality. Impact investors like the Moringa Fund invest in agroforestry systems such as coffee plantations in order to promote sound and viable management strategies at landscape level. Private companies such as EcoPlanet Bamboo promote largescale bamboo restoration for the production of fibre. At the same time, regional initiatives such as TerrAfrica in Africa and “Initiative 20 by 20” in Latin America, as well as national initiatives such as Payment for Environmental Services for sustainable cork oak production in Portugal, supported by WWF and Coca Cola, offer a variety of mechanisms to upscale investments in FLR. The workshop identified concrete opportunities to upscale FLR, for example through aggregating financial resources at landscape level, bringing together different stakeholders and sectors involved, thus preventing inter-sectoral or resource-use conflicts. However, participants also highlighted that certain key conditions must be in place in order to tap into increased finance for FLR, including an adequate enabling investment environment, the existence of local champions with the necessary skills, and the availability of bankable investment proposals that focus on promising value chains within landscapes. Missing information on possible returns on investments (e.g. ex-ante cost benefit analysis) as well as investment risk assessment and mitigation mechanisms, unclear tenure situation, and lack of coherence among possible investors and landowners/users have been highlighted among the key barriers that need to be overcome for increased investments in FLR. In order to identify key action required to upscale FLR, FAO and the GM of the UNCCD – through its Rome Liaison Office - established a partnership to deliver a Discussion Paper on “Sustainable Finance for FLR”. The paper will review best available information, discuss issues and success stories related to FLR funding, and assess opportunities to increase access to financing in support to FLR implementation at scale. The workshop report and the Discussion Paper will be made available soon on the FAO and GM websites. All the material from the workshop, including background papers and presentations, is also available via at the links below.   Related links: Workshop materials and presentations The FAO FLR Mechanism The Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration The Bonn Challenge

Unlocking the Investment Potential of Forest & Landscape Restoration